If there’s one luxury I love, it’s staying at a lovely hotel. Life gets hectic at the best of times, especially for someone who lives 100mph like me, so it really is a treat to escape the hustle and bustle.
The Vale Resort is certainly not synonymous with hustle and bustle. Set in over 650 acres of beautiful Welsh countryside, it is the perfect place to enjoy some peace and quiet. And with gorgeous bedrooms and an award-winning restaurant (not to mention Wales’ largest spa and two championship golf courses), the Resort will not disappoint.
So naturally, I was thrilled when they invited me to stay recently. I took my friend Jess with the intention of having a proper girly getaway. As much as we love glamming up, we’re equally happy putting the world to rights in our pyjamas with endless cups of tea so we were both excited at the prospect of doing both at the Resort.
The room was warm, inviting and spacious. In fact, it was HUGE! It was also immaculately clean and tastefully decorated with plush beds, crisp white linens and contemporary ensuite facilities stocked with toiletries courtesy of The White Company. We also had a private balcony which was a real treat – the view of the landscaped gardens was spectacular. I’d love to go back in the summer to make the most of sitting outside! It was a bit too cold for us at this time of year.
After checking in and freshening up, we headed down for dinner. Another thing I love about the Resort is that you don’t have to venture far for fantastic food. Simply go downstairs and there is a choice of four restaurants/bars you can sink your teeth into. With locally-supplied ingredients and a wonderfully modern menu, we had a wonderful dining experience at the Vale Grill.
To start, I had the loaded halloumi fries (yum!) while Jess opted for the glazed pig cheeks with celeriac remoulade and pea shoots. The halloumi was divine and the guacamole was the ideal accompaniment. Jess had never tried pig cheeks before but they were a resounding success!
For mains, I went for the moqueca – a Brazilian prawn and whitefish stew and Jess chose the halloumi and apricot tagine with spiced cous cous. Both amazing choices! The coconut and chilli flavours in my dish were fragrant and delicious while Jess loved the fruity touch to the tagine.
No dining experience is complete without a dessert. I’m obsessed with lemon-anything so I had to go for the lemon curd posset whereas Jess plumped for the fig and pecan sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce, a lovely winter warmer! Even though my dessert was fabulous, I wasn’t overly fussed on the thyme biscuit. I’m all for unusual flavours and combinations but I think the dish would have worked better with a biscuit that wasn’t so overpowering. Otherwise, it was great!
After dinner, we were full, content and ready to relax! I took full advantage of the bathtub, which was so deep I could have practically swam lengths in it and Jess chilled out watching TV in the very comfortable bed. What a fabulous evening! It was made even better by the complimentary robes and slippers. Ahh, bliss!
The day after, we woke refreshed and ready for breakfast. My favourite meal of the day! If you like a buffet breakfast, then you will love the one here. From the hot buffet, you can choose from the usual bacon, sausages including vegan versions (hurrah!) and other fried items. From the cold buffet, you can choose from cereals, cured meats, continental cheeses, freshly baked pastries and muffins, fruit and yoghurts. There are plenty of options for all dietary requirements but please let them know if you need anything specific.
All in all, we both had an exceptional stay at the Resort. The service was fantastic, standards were very high and the room was beautiful. A massive thank you to the team who went above and beyond to make sure our stay was memorable. Unfortunately, I didn’t use the gym but I would make that a priority on another visit. And the spa of course, it looks dreamy! Until next time, The Vale Resort!